San Jose’s 97th Veterans’ Day Parade joined hundreds of veterans and parade goers celebrating the end of WWI that marked the surrender of Adolph Hitler in 1918 to the United States and Allied Forces. However, peace was short lived as fighting again erupted in Europe with France and surrounding nations soon conquered by German forces using a Blitzkrieg, or lighting style of attacks to overtake surrounding towns and the mountainous countryside. The Nazi regime however was most known for its bombing of Central London, England, called the “London Blitz”, which left millions homeless, and 250,000 men, women and children dead. The bombing attack is often referred to as 7/7, as suicide bombers had successfully attacked the city on July 7, 1940.
But for many that attended the San Jose parade it was a chance for most to celebrate loved ones and honor those that have served in the Armed Forces. One proud parent said, “We are here to support the veterans.” Veterans joined each other along the parade route in support, and in commemoration of friendship, and bonds which had been created during their time of service during the Korean, Vietnam conflict and Iraq/Afghanistan tours.
The parade route followed the Fernando and Market Streets as hundreds gathered at each street corner to watch as cars and military style vehicles of the past rode through the street. Others watched as motorcycles and buses carried service members along the route.
One World War II veteran talked about joining the Marines to fight in the war when he was only 15. He served just after the end of World War II joining the fight in the Pacific to help fight against communism in the South China Sea. At the age of 15 he sought to join the adventure of the war as the Korean conflict began to break in 1950-1953. “We helped save the army,” he said. Many veterans sat along the side lines watched as high school bands played marching tunes. Other bands such as the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Dept Pipe and Drum band joined the procession in support the, air force, army, navy, and marines in support of all those that have served with them.
There was no shortage of politicians joining the rote from the Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves and California’s 19t District Congress Woman Zoe Lofgren. The Saratoga and Sunnyvale Mayor were unable to attend. Santa Clara County District Supervisor Dave Cortese and Cidy Chavez joined the procession in modern corvettes that were provided by Corvette club members.
Marching bands included Red Wood City High School, San Jose’s Andrew Hill and Color Guard Members of the Reserve Office Training Corp, or ROTC.
Military style trucks and tow trucks bought as military surplus ranged from $2,500 to more than $10,000 were showcase by their owners.
The California National Guard as well as the National Red Cross and Emergency Service vehicles was also showcased as San Jose Police top brass enjoyed a ride in their bus, others enjoyed a more outdoor experience on the back of a military surplus supply truck.
Veterans day is for the Veterans of all World War’s and Conflicts. To them we salute you.